VAT 69 Scotch Whisky

Shooting for VAT 69 whiskey it was apparently vital that we (the art director, my assistant and myself), be accommodated in the best hotel as it was I presume assumed we represented them in some way, or perhaps should be seen as guests to be shown the best hospitality or something, anyroad, we stayed at the best hotels Scotland had to offer (complete with cloakroom attendant called Angus McCoatup). On the way back I drove for too long and left it too late to find a similar plush hotel, and as darkness descended on us in West Hartlepool (*known as the place they hung the monkey), all we could find were trucker's hotels and ended up in one called The 'Knicky-Knacky-Noo' which had lilac nylon sheets with cigarette burns and we all had to share a room with no en-suite, just a filthy sink in one corner. I would have loved to have seen the advertising agency accounts department as they went through my expenses bill, -the difference between the Royal whatever and the Noo must have been phenomenal!*

.* Hartlepool is famous for executing a monkey during the Napoleonic Wars at the beginning of the nineteenth century: the local community of Hartlepool in North Yorkshire were very frightened of a French invasion at the time. On one stormy December day on the coast at Hartlepool, a French vessel called the Chasse Maree was spotted just off the Hartlepool horizon being subject to a heavy battering of gales and snow, so much so that the ship was severely battered and sunk with the wreckage washing up on the Hartlepool shore.
Among the wreckage was the only survivor, the ship's pet monkey dressed to amuse in a military style uniform. Having never seen a monkey or a Frenchman before, the not so bright local fishermen began to interrogate the poor monkey and held a beach-based trial and came to the conclusion that the monkey was a French spy and should be sentenced to death by hanging.

* Another version claims a different story, -that a monkey survived a shipwreck, and because the villagers could only claim salvage rights if there were no survivors from the wreck, they allegedly hung the monkey.